‚ÄúSignificant achievement‚ÄĚ in delivery of social security

19 May 2022 11:34 AM

More than £3.9 billion to benefit 1 million people in 2022-23

A report published today by Audit Scotland has highlighted the Scottish Government’s “significant achievement” in the scale and pace of delivering the devolved programme of social security benefits in Scotland, including seven new payments unavailable anywhere else in the UK. The report notes that this work continued despite ongoing challenges due to the pandemic. The report further acknowledges that the Scottish Government has continued to successfully deliver existing social security benefits and introduce complex new ones – including Scottish Child Payment, Child Disability Payment and Adult Disability Payment – in challenging circumstances.

The report also recognises the importance of social security in our collective national mission to tackle child poverty, mitigating the cost of living crisis and addressing inequalities.

In line with Scottish Fiscal Commission forecasts, the Scottish Government has committed over £3.9bn for benefit expenditure in 2022-23, providing support to more than one million people. This is over £360m above the level of funding to be received from the UK Government through Block Grant Adjustments.

Responding to the report, Minister for Social Security Ben Macpherson said:

“I am pleased that this Audit Scotland report recognises the significant progress we have made in building a new public service from scratch since 2018 and delivering 12 benefits – seven of which are completely new forms of financial support that are not available anywhere else in the UK.

“We have successfully introduced a range of benefits that are now supporting carers and low-income families with their living costs, including with heating and we are helping disabled people to live full and independent lives.

“This year will see us deliver even more for the people of Scotland. Our Scottish Child Payment will be extended to eligible children aged under 16 and be increased to £25 per week per child by the end of the year, supporting over 430,000 eligible children; and in winter 2022/23 we will introduce our new winter heating payment for low-income households – a stable £50 payment that will support 400,000 low-income households with their heating costs. We will also continue to roll out Adult Disability Payment, our most complex benefit, and significantly progress transferring tens of thousands of Scottish disability benefit cases from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.

“I am proud that we have built our social security system with the people who will use it, and appreciate that the report acknowledges our focus has delivered a service built on our principles of dignity, fairness and respect. The report also notes the positive feedback people have shared about their experiences of engaging with Social Security Scotland.

“We have been ambitious in our delivery timeline – including introducing new benefits while dealing with the pandemic – and we are ensuring that we transfer tens of thousands of cases safely and securely from the DWP to Social Security Scotland. As well as delivering benefits now and in the period ahead, we are responsibly and ambitiously developing a new social security system that will serve Scotland for many years to come, putting people at the heart of everything we do.”

Background

Social Security Scotland currently administers 12 benefits:

Carer’s Allowance Supplement
Pregnancy and Baby Payment
Early Learning Payment
School Age Payment
Best Start Foods
Funeral Support Payment
Young Carer Grant
Job Start Payment
Scottish Child Payment
Child Winter Heating Assistance
Child Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment

Adult Disability Payment is the replacement for the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment. It is being introduced in phases ahead of national rollout on 29 August

21 March – Dundee City, Perth and Kinross or the Western Isles

20 June – Angus, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire

25 July – Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire, East Ayrshire, Fife, Moray, North Ayrshire or South Ayrshire

29 August – All Scotland